Pantherophis alleghaniensis, 03 April 2012

Pantherophis alleghaniensis, the Eastern (Gray) rat snake;
Lowndes county, Georgia (03 April 2012).

Here’s a fairly defensive Eastern rat snake I photographed at Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area in Lowndes county, Georgia — just outside Valdosta and not far from the Florida border. In this stretch of southern Georgia, Eastern rat snakes exhibit a mix of the “Yellow” pattern found throughout much of the Florida peninsula and the “Gray” pattern found throughout much of Georgia. Lowndes county is right on the line between the two phenotypic standards. As adults, most of the Valdosta-area Eastern rats are solidly gray-based. However, some, like this one, still sport a bit of the “Yellow rat snake” striping you’re more likely to see down south.

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